Double whammy against self-employed

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The government is reneging on its pledge to abolish Class 2 NICs and it also looks likely that the government will axe its flagship New Enterprise Allowance scheme (NEA). Self-employed groups have criticised the decision as a betrayal and say that the move proves that the government does not support the self-employed. It was in the 2015 Summer Budget that… Read more »

Self-Employed encouraged to sign petition

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Consultants, freelancers, contractors and others who are self-employed are all being encouraged to sign a petition to prevent ‘irrevocable damage to their flexible working arrangements and to protect their rights.’ This petition is the brainchild of ContractorCalculator and is devised to aid government to be reasonable and abandon the Off-Payroll working tax that it is arranging to introduce into the… Read more »

Ex-Inland Revenue tax consultant jailed

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Mike Hughes, who worked for the Inland Revenue during the 1980s, is now in jail for using a string of offshore and UK bank accounts and companies to steal £6.9m via fraudulent payroll schemes. Hughes and his co-conspirators split the money, which should have gone to HMRC. In September 2011, Hughes left the UK, going first to Chile and Dubai… Read more »

Companies face lawsuits from contractors

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Companies that engage contractors risk facing lengthy court battles and the possibility of six-figure settlements if they do not follow the public sector IR35 reforms, according to Qdos Contractor. In 2017, a move took place to pass the responsibility for deciding the IR35 status of contractors onto public sector companies. The UK Government is also considering extending these changes to… Read more »

Ex-HMRC tax inspector says CEST not fit for purpose

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HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool has been controversial since its introduction. Now, even an ex-HRMC tax inspector is calling into question the reliability of the tool. According to Philp Manley, a tax partner at Dow Schofield Watts and a former HMRC tax inspector, the CEST tool does not meet the “reasonable care” requirement laid out within the… Read more »

HMRC abandons IR35 case against one of its own

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The taxman might like to give the impression that it doggedly pursues all offending individuals and refuses to ever accept that it might be wrong, but it appears that that is not the case. HMRC has just given up after spending three years attempting to bring one of its own PSCs to court. HMRC had been investigating GMPFive Consulting Ltd… Read more »

Government cautioned against IR35 reform

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The freelance contractor sector and its representatives have issued a warning to the UK Government not to extend IR35 reforms into the private sector. The changes have already proved controversial in the public sector. The Government has just finished its consultation on how to clamp down on the way that contractors operate in the private sector, resulting in multiple concerns… Read more »

HMRC increases use of AI and big data

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HMRC is increasingly using big data and AI to gather evidence for its tax investigations, which reduces the need for the organisation to carry out property raids. According to law firm Pinsent Masons, the number of property raids carried out by HMRC has dropped by 30%. In 2016/17, HMRC carried out 669 property raids, as compared to just 471 last… Read more »

84% of perceived tax avoided by hirers

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Figures taken from examples provided by HMRC revealed that when it comes to any perceived shortfall in tax resulting from IR35, the hiring organization is responsible 84% of the time while the contractor is responsible only 16% of the time. This might come as a surprise to anyone who has been listening to what HMRC has said about IR35 and… Read more »

Contractors bullied by clients

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New research by Qdos Contractor has revealed that nearly one in three contractors felt that they had been “bullied” by their clients into accepting a working agreement that benefited the clients. This suggests that the Government’s approach to IR35 may not be working as intended. HMRC’s approach to IR35 compliance was recently in the spotlight due to the BBC’s insistence… Read more »